Conduct Process and Procedures

Student Housing Services expects residents to maintain standards of personal conduct that are in harmony with the University's educational goals, to observe national, state, and local laws, and to respect the rights, privileges, and property of others. We foster communities that value personal responsibility, respect, and civility.  The housing conduct system exists to ensure education, consultation, and support to our communities regarding due process protections and responding to alleged violations of the University and/or Student Housing Services policies.  With an emphasis on restorative justice, our system also ensures that our residents, communities, and staff are treated equitably, fairly, and efficiently.

Specific goals of the Student Housing Services conduct system include:

  • Educate our residents on their rights and responsibilities
  • As appropriate, consult with faculty, staff, and students on resident behavior concerns
  • Conduct hearings for residents involved in incidents or charged with alleged violations of policy
  • Participate in crisis consultation/intervention teams
  • Ensure all staff charged with enforcement or case hearings are properly trained
  • Make educational referrals for residents needing support related to substance abuse, psychological issues, anger management, ethical decision-making, domestic violence, and sex offenses
  • Focus on the impact policy violations have on the community as a whole
  • Advocate for fair process
  • Serve as an information and referral service
  • Provide facilitation and mediation

Student Housing Services relies on the Community Standards as a guide to help define acceptable behavior on issues related to university and resident property or resident behavior. Residents who violate policies may be held accountable for their behavior. Once an alleged violation of policy is reported, the resident (s) alleged to be involved is asked to meet with a Student Housing Services staff member to discuss the incident.

 

Conduct Process

The primary reason for the Community Standards is to educate our residents about the responsibilities of living in a community. For a resident who chooses to act in a manner that violates these standards, the conduct process is designed to discuss the behaviors inconsistent with the Community Standards, to restore the community and the relationships within, and to assist the resident in accepting responsibility for his/her actions and for the consequences of these actions.

The following are the rights of due process that apply to residents involved in the conduct process with Student Housing Services:

A. Notification Rights:

  1. The resident has the right to written notification of the alleged violation(s). Written notification is provided via UHM e-mail address.
  2. In most cases, residents will be given at least 48 hour notice that a conduct meeting has been called to allow for adequate preparation time.
  3. The resident must be provided with all rights and responsibilities regarding the conduct process.

B. The Right to a Fair and Impartial Hearing

  1. The resident has the right to a fair hearing.
  2. The resident has the right to an impartial hearing officer.

C. Testimony Rights

  1. The resident has the right to testify on her/his own behalf.
  2. The resident has the right to provide her/his own documentation or witnesses.
  3. The resident has the right to remain silent.
  4. The resident has the right to hear all evidence being used against them.  Evidence will be presented verbally by the hearing officer during the hearing.

D. The Right to Notification of Outcome

  1. The resident has the right to receive notification, in writing, of the outcome of the hearing.

E. The Right to Appeal

  1. The resident has the right to be made aware of her/his appeal options.
  2. The resident has the right to request an appeal hearing. An appeal hearing will be granted provided that the resident provides evidence that grounds for an appeal exists. Simply disagreeing with the outcome of a conduct proceeding is not considered grounds for an appeal.

F. The Right to Waive Conduct Proceedings:

  1. The resident has the right to waive the conduct process by accepting responsibility for a policy violation and all associated sanctions. If a resident chooses to waive conduct proceedings, the resident cannot appeal any sanctions assigned, up to and including eviction.

It is important to note that the Student Housing and University conduct processes are not legal proceedings, they are administrative proceedings. As such, residents may not have lawyers present at any proceeding and are not entitled to the same level of rights they would be entitled to in a legal proceeding.

 

Standard of Evidence

The standard of evidence used to determine responsibility for a policy violation is “Preponderance of Evidence.” The preponderance of evidence standard is met when the evidence presented is more likely than not to have occurred or the facts presented are highly probable to have taken place.  Evidence can range from physical evidence to personal statements made by parties involved in or witness to situations or incidents.

Violations of the University of Hawai'i Student Conduct Code

Incidents determined to be alleged violations of the University of Hawaii Student Conduct Code may be forwarded to the Office of Judicial Affairs for adjudication under the procedures of the Student Conduct Code.  See www.hawaii.edu/student/conduct for more information regarding Student Conduct Code policies and procedures

 

Conduct Procedures

Incident Report

The conduct process begins when an incident occurs which may involve an alleged violation of University and/or Student Housing Services policies, procedures, or regulations.  Student Housing staff will document violations on an Incident Report.  Residents involved in alleged incidents, or are witness to any incident, may request a statement form from hall staff, which will be submitted along with the incident report.

Conduct Meetings

When an alleged policy violation occurs, a resident will receive written notification of the allegations via the individual’s UHM email address.  Per University policy (E2.213 System and Campus-wide Electronic Channels for Communicating With Students), email is the official means of communication within the university and, consequently, written notice sent to the resident’s electronic address will constitute full notice.  Subsequently, a resident will be required to attend a formal hearing. During the hearing, the resident will meet with a Student Housing Services staff member or the Peer Review Board (PRB). If a resident is referred to the PRB, they may request to meet with an individual administrator in lieu of the PRB if they choose.

The resident is required to attend the hearing as scheduled or contact the housing staff a minimum of 24 hours in advance to reschedule the hearing. Should the resident choose not to attend or reschedule the hearing, a decision on responsibility is made without the resident’s input.  The decision will be based on the information available to the hearing officer or to the PRB.  A resident who fails to attend the hearing or properly request to reschedule the hearing may not appeal the finding or sanctions assigned by the hearing officer, except in cases where the resident is evicted from on-campus housing.

Responsibility for the violation will be determined by the preponderance of the evidence standard, defined as “more likely than not” that a violation occurred. During the hearing, the resident will be verbally presented with the details of the alleged violations. The resident may respond to the allegations and present information and/or evidence relevant to the case.

These meetings may be recorded for documentation purposes. This recording/documentation will remain the property of the University and Student Housing Services.

The resident is informed of the decision in the final decision letter.

Peer Review Board

The Peer Review Board (PRB) is a student-run panel which meets on a regular basis to hear student conduct cases. It is comprised of students from the residence halls/apartments and is advised by graduate or professional staff. The purpose of the Board is to provide residents with an opportunity to have their case heard and decided upon by a group of their peers.

If a case is heard by the Board, the Board will have access to all information which is pertinent to the case. This includes the incident report, supporting documentation (statement forms, etc.), and the resident’s conduct history and standing (i.e. any violations incurred in the past, previous educational sanctions, current conduct standing, etc.).

Residents wanting more information about PRB, including information about why it might be a suitable option, should speak to a Residence Director.

 

Conduct Actions

Conduct Status

All residents are assigned a conduct status. A resident’s current conduct status may impact the severity of sanctions assigned in the event that a resident is found responsible for violating a policy - in general, the higher the conduct status, the more severe the sanction. Conduct status categories are as follows:

A.    No Status:  The resident is in good standing with the Student Housing Services.
B.    Warning:  The resident remains in good standing with the Student Housing Services, but has been found responsible for violating a policy or procedure and is put “on notice” that further violations of policy may result in more severe conduct action.
C.    Probation:  A resident with this status is expected to demonstrate a willingness to comply with all University and Student Housing Services policies and procedures.  A resident with this status is not considered to be in good standing with the Student Housing Services; and may be evicted from on-campus housing in the event that further policies are violated while on probationary status. In addition, residents on this status may be ineligible to renew their housing contract for subsequent academic years.
D.    Suspension:  A resident with this status will have their housing contract terminated and will not be allowed to return to on-campus housing for a specified period of time and/or until certain conditions are met.
E.    Dismissal:  A resident who is assigned this status will have their housing contract immediately terminated and will be trespass banned from on-campus housing facilities and surrounding areas. A resident who has been dismissed is banned from returning to on-campus housing at any point in the future.

Conduct status is not necessarily assigned in the order above.  For example, a resident with no status who commits a serious violation of policy may be assigned “probation” or “dismissal” at the discretion of the hearing officer.

Sanctions

When a resident is found responsible for violating a policy, they may be assigned a conduct sanction. The goal of a conduct sanction is to restore damage to the community or to individual relationships; and/or educate the resident on the impact her/his behavior has on the community; and/or address other behavioral needs. Sanctions assigned by hearing officers may be one or more of the following:

A.    Educational Assignment:  The resident is assigned a specific project or program (relevant to the violation) to be completed by a set deadline. Examples include, but are not limited to, attendance and/or assistance in educational programs, meeting with University officials (such as coaches, advisors, counselors, etc.), a written paper on a specific topic, addressing student groups, letters of apology, or completing a roommate contract.
B.    Restitution:  In cases of damage, destruction, or theft, or the unauthorized use of property or services, restitution may be required.  This may include reasonable administrative costs.
C.    Referral:  This may include referral to another department of the University for counseling and/or other intervention.
D.    Loss of Privileges:  This may include removal of privileges such as the ability to host guests, the ability to check out items from the Community Desk, etc.
E.    Conduct Transfer:  This is the permanent relocation of a resident from one community to another.  Residents who are transferred are prohibited from entering the floor, wing, or building that they were transferred from for a specified period of time.
F.    No Contact Order:  The resident is prohibited from any form of contact (such as verbal contact, contact via any electronic medium, contact via a third party, etc.) with a specific person or persons.
G.    No Retaliation Order:  The resident is prohibited from any attempts at retaliation (such as intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination).
H.    Other:  With the permission of the Assistant Director for Conduct and Community Standards and/or the Associate Director for Residential Life, a hearing officer can assign a sanction that is not listed in any category above provided that the sanction is relevant to the policy that was violated and/or is in the best interest of the community.

Interim Sanctions

“Interim” sanctions are assigned in serious or severe alleged violations of the Community Standards. Interim sanctions are assigned before a conduct hearing in cases where it is in the best interest of the community and/or the alleged offender to be removed from the community and/or to prohibit contact between individuals. Interim sanctions are in place until the matter can be properly heard and pending the outcome of the hearing. Interim sanctions are as follows:

A. Interim  No Contact Order:  The resident is prohibited from any form of contact (such as verbal contact, contact via any electronic medium, contact via a third party, etc.) with a specific person or persons.
B. Interim No Retaliation Order:  The resident is prohibited from any attempts at retaliation (such as intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination).
C. Interim Immediate Conduct Transfer:  This is the temporary relocation of a resident from one community to another. Residents who receive an interim conduct transfer are prohibited from entering the floor, wing, or building from which they were transferred.
D. Interim Immediate Eviction:  This is the temporary eviction of a resident from on-campus housing. This interim sanction is only assigned in cases where a resident displays behavior that poses imminent or potentially imminent danger to herself/himself and/or others.

 

Appeal Process

Residents who choose to appeal a conduct action must do so by submitting the “On-Line Conduct Appeal Form” within five working days of the date of notification of the conduct action. This form can be found at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/housing/forms and will require the use of the individual’s log in information.

The right to appeal must be based on one or both of the following categories:

  1. A procedural error has occurred during the original conduct process.
  2. New evidence or an unusual condition, relevant to the case, was discovered and was verifiably not available at the original conduct meeting(s).

The On-Line Conduct Appeal Form requesting an appeal must contain information explaining in detail the procedural error and/or new evidence or unusual conditions related to the resident’s case. A resident may appeal on one or both of the categories listed above, but may not appeal because they disagree with the conduct actions and sanctions. All requests for appeals of conduct action will be reviewed by the Associate/Assistant Director or his/her designee, who will evaluate the appeal to determine whether valid grounds exist to meet one or both of the criteria cited above. Appeal forms that do not contain the appropriate information will be rejected and returned to the resident with sanctions upheld. If an appeal request is granted, conduct action will be suspended until the appeal process is concluded. However, any further violations can result in other conduct action which may include the immediate suspension or dismissal from the residence halls.

The appeal investigation will result in one of the following decisions:

a)    Uphold the original sanction(s)
b)    Revise the sanctions(s)
c)    Rescind the original sanction(s)

Residents have one level of appeal after the original sanction(s) and that decision is final and binding within the University of Hawaii at Manoa.